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The Manila Times : Marcos vows support for cooperatives

News & Interviews
7 January 2022

By The Manila Times

FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. vowed to mobilize Congress to craft laws to further develop cooperatives if he will be elected president.

The candidate for president made the pledge during a meeting with officers of a cooperative group.

"The government needs cooperatives; that's why we should give them protection so they can develop and flourish," Marcos said in Filipino.

The officers of COOP Natcco held a virtual meet and greet session with Marcos and his UniTeam's Senate candidates — former Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr., former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, former Quezon City mayor Herbert "Bistek" Bautista and Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

COOP Natcco party-list Rep. Sabiniano Canama voiced support for the tandem of Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Marcos said the Cooperative Development Authority should be given more budget to allow it to perform its duties well and provide assistance to all cooperatives nationwide.

The cooperatives must be provided with ample seed money and skills training to enable them to grow "from loan and savings organizations into full-fledged entrepreneurs."

"Gagawin po natin sa buong bansa ang ginawa ko sa Ilocos Sur noon (I will replicate what I have done in Ilocos Sur noon before)," Marcos said.

He said small cooperatives will be given seed money and will "be assisted in upgrading their skills like accounting, business planning, and bank loan access." Marcos said he will ask Congress to re-examine the law granting tax exemptions to cooperatives to ensure that these are protected and only those with capability to pay are taxed accordingly for their business operations.

"The Duterte administration is doing a great job in protecting the rights and promoting the interests of Filipino cooperatives. We will definitely expand on the gains it has achieved in supporting cooperatives," he said.

"We acknowledge all the efforts of Bongbong Marcos and Mayor Inday (Duterte-Carpio) in promoting the interests of the cooperative movement as engines of growth for the Philippine economy," Canama said.

"Throughout the years, they stood as our reliable partners in expanding the role of Filipino cooperatives — from taking care of the needs of our members to fueling the growth of Filipino entrepreneurs." The meet and greet virtual session with the cooperative leaders was the first joint activity attended by the UniTeam since Marcos and Duterte-Carpio suspended scheduled political gatherings because of the Covid-19 surge.

Canama welcomed the holding of the event as an "opportunity to see what the next administration has in store for the cooperative movement in the Philippines."